MALACCA: The Peranakan Chinese community wants to be recognised as bumiputra.
Baba and Nonya Association of Malaysia chairman Ronald Gan said most of them still converse in the Peranakan language, which is a fusion of Bahasa Melayu and certain Chinese dialects.
“With the status, we hope that our rich history and culture that date back to the Malacca Sultanate would be given proper recognition,” he said after the association’s AGM at Tengkera here.
Gan said historically, the Peranakan Chinese community who settled in Malacca as early as the 14th century, was already recognised as
He said that was the reason why some 200 plots of Malay Customary Land in the state belonged to the Peranakan Chinese.
“Most of these properties are in Klebang, Tanjung and Bukit Rambai,” he said.
He added there is a misconception that the community was eager to be given the status of bumiputra to enjoy privileges.
“We are not interested in that, we just want recognition because we are already living a Malay lifestyle.
“We exchange pantun and eat using our hands,” he said, noting that during British rule, they were given land deeds.
“Before the British, the Dutch also gave similar recognition to the Baba Nyonya community,” Gan said, adding that the Portuguese community was bestowed the status.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron had earlier said the state government endorsed the Chinese Peranakan community’s efforts to be recognised as bumiputra.
“We consider them an indigenous community and support any move to obtain bumiputra status,” he said.